Happy Friday, loves! We’re headed home today which means hours and hours of traveling with this bump on board so send your happy mama thoughts my way!

In the meantime, I’m so excited to share this post with you! Meet Megan from Willow Way…she is the mama to Olivia and creative mind behind my fave Etsy site for all things girl, Willow Crowns. Today Megan is stepping up and being brave enough to share her tips with traveling with a kiddo….I can’t believe I’ll need these tips in just a few weeks! Megan and her hubby are actually from the area where we now live in Maine and she provided so much support and advice while I was struggling through my first winter so I know she’s got some amazing info in store for ya’ll.

See you kids on Monday! 
Hey ya’ll and greetings from Houston! 
I’m Megan. I blog over at Willow Way and I’m so glad Steph asked me to guest post for her. I’m brimming with friendly resentment that she’s in Greece while I’m not, but that’s not why she asked me to write, so I digress…
I’m from Maine originally but have recently made my way to Texas with my husband and 17 month old daughter, Olivia. Since we live 2,000 miles from home we do our fair share of travel, so I thought I’d share my best travel tips for babies and toddlers, especially since Steph will soon be traveling with a little guy of her own!
Before I get into the nitty gritty, here’s my number 1 travel tip of all time:
Remember it won’t last forever.

Sometimes no matter what you pack, plan, or pray for, your travel goes horribly wrong, your kid cries incessantly, and you miss a connection. The good news is, it will be over eventually so try to take deep breaths and if that doesn’t work, take a Valium (kidding, kidding…sorta).
In all honesty though, traveling with kidlets doesn’t have to be torture and you don’t have to pack a ton. Let’s start with the essentials
Whether you choose to wear your little or push them in a stroller, you’ll want a way to transport them. I loved wearing Olivia  (in the Baby Bjorn) when she was an infant since it left my hands free and she’d fall asleep in the carrier. Once she started walking, I preferred the stroller so I could let her out to run around when we had time and then just pop her back in when it was time to go. I check our stroller at the gate and love our Britax B-Agile. It closes with one hand and only weights 17 lbs so it’s ideal for travel.
I only carry on one bag when I’m traveling (I check everything else because packing light is a skill I never learned) and my Longchamp bag (the large size, duh) is my go to. It’s water proof, stores a ton and squishes under the seat in front of me really nicely. I pack snacks (more than you ever think you’ll need because half will end up on the floor, guaranteed), the iPad (loaded with Fisher Price apps) and the essentials like diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and my wallet.
Another thing that seems small, but makes a huge difference is a pacifier clip. Liv used a pacifier for the first year and unless you want that thing rolling up and down airplane aisles, get your hands on a clip, pronto.
I also stash one (or two) of the Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets in my bag, regardless of age. They’re great if the plane is cold, you need something to wipe up a massive milk spill, and are great to change diapers on while in gross airport bathrooms. They’re fantastically lightweight and take up virtually no room, so stock up, people. 
Now, let’s talk tips.
1. Pack lotsa diapers. Especially for those precious infants. The kiddos can have some, um, bowel issues with the pressure changes and blow outs at 10,000 feet ain’t pretty.
2. Make friends with the flight attendants. Make nice the second you board, compliment their nail polish, throw yourself on their mercy, whatever it takes, but get on their good side. They’ll usually let you know if there’s a row with an extra seat so your bebe can have their own. That’s the jackpot, right there.
3. Check out the first class situation. Lots of times if first class has openings on the day of your flight, you can upgrade for only $40 or $50 and have lots more space. If that doesn’t work, I always try to get the very front row of seats (in the aisle) when booking our flight so we can have the extra legroom. That way Liv can sit on my lap for takeoff and landing but sit on the floor and play during the flight. The other bonus to this is that there isn’t a seat in front of her for her to bang on and potentially concuss the passenger in front of us. You also get to deplane first this way.
4. Don’t board first. They’ll give families with children the opportunity to board first, but extra time in a confined space with my toddler is my personal version of hell. I let her run wild around the gate area for as long as possible before I have to confine her.
In the past year I’ve flown with Olivia 6 times, 4 of those times by myself, so we feel like we’ve got it down by now, but I’m certainly not an expert. We had switched to formula by the time we started flying with her, so I haven’t had to worry about pumping/nursing while traveling but I imagine airplane bathrooms and nursing covers can be your best friends in those situations. If your babe’s on formula, I highly, highly recommend the individual packets that you can mix with a bottle of water (which you can get anywhere).
All in all, traveling with kiddos is totally doable and it’s usually more stressful for the adults than the kids. Olivia happens to be a first class people watcher and thoroughly enjoys our travel days…so much so that she declines to nap. We get through it though with a minimum of emotional scarring.

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